• The government has lined up KICC among 11 State corporations it wants sold saying the iconic building is “required to be incorporated into a limited company.”
• The inclusion of the KICC on the Kenyan currency notes was unsuccessfully contested in court in 2019.
Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai has raised a pertinent question regarding the continued use of Kenyatta International Convention Centre’s image on the Kenyan currency notes should the building be privatised.
The government has lined up KICC among 11 State corporations it wants sold saying the iconic building is “required to be incorporated into a limited company”.
Alai questioned what would happen to the face of the currency notes once the 28-storey building is sold.
“When they eventually sell KICC, do we change our currency or they will have the image of a private property?” he asked.
The inclusion of the KICC on the Kenyan currency notes was unsuccessfully contested in court in 2019.
Activist and current Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah argued in his petition that the inclusion of the statue of founding President Jomo Kenyatta was a portrait of an individual in contravention of Article 231(4) of the Constitution.
The law states that “Notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of Kenya may bear images that depict or symbolise Kenya or an aspect of Kenya but shall not bear the portrait of any individual”.
Omtatah also argued that the statue of Mzee Kenyatta is not part of KICC and therefore should not be in the new banknotes.
He further posited that the display of the statue on the currencies is bigger than the KICC meaning the focus was on the statue.
“The important thing for me in this matter is that these are two distinctly different structures, and the statue is a landscaping detail and not part of the tower,” he told the court.
But in their ruling on the matter after visiting the precincts of the KICC, High Court judges Kanyi Kimondo and Asenath Ongeri said the image of the first President on the new notes is not a portrait but a statue which forms part of the KICC.
They upheld the design of the new currency notes as issued by the Central Bank of Kenya stating that their design did not violate Article 231(4) of the Constitution which outlawed the use of portraits of individuals in any currency.
“It will amount to a very narrow interpretation of the Constitution to rule that the statue of the founding President is a portrait of an individual. It is clear that the image forms part of KICC which is a gazetted national monument and permitted to be used in the new currencies,” the judges ruled in the judgment delivered on September 27, 2029.
CBK unveiled the new generation banknotes on June 1, 2019, as part of measures to curb fraud and money laundering.